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Spice grills: For barbies with bite, try Bake Off star Chetna Makan’s Indian sizzlers

SPICY KING PRAWNS

It's the simple ingredients that bring so much joy to this prawn dish and, when cooked on a barbecue, the flavour deepens with all the smokiness added to it It's the simple ingredients that bring so much joy to this prawn dish and, when cooked on a barbecue, the flavour deepens with all the smokiness added to it

It’s the simple ingredients that bring so much joy to this prawn dish and, when cooked on a barbecue, the flavour deepens with all the smokiness added to it

It’s the simple ingredients that bring so much joy to this prawn dish and, when cooked on a barbecue, the flavour deepens with all the smokiness added to it. 

SERVES 4

12 raw king prawnsgrilled lemon halves, for squeezing

FOR THE MARINADE

2 tbsp rapeseed oilhandful of coriander leaves, finely choppedbig pinch of salt¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper¼ tsp pomegranate powder (available from spicemountain.co.uk)¼ tsp chilli powder1 red chilli, finely chopped

To prepare the prawns, peel off the shells, keeping the heads and tails intact, and de-vein them. (If you prefer, you can remove the heads and tails, but retaining them makes cooking on the barbecue much easier.)

Put all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Place the prawns in the marinade, cover the bowl and leave them to marinate for 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator.

Light the barbecue. Once the coals are ready for cooking, place the prawns on the barbecue grill. (If you removed the heads and tails, you might want to skewer the prawns to make them easier to handle.)

Grill for roughly 2 minutes on each side until cooked through. (Alternatively, cook the prawns in a frying pan over a medium heat for roughly 2 minutes on each side.) Serve with grilled lemon halves for squeezing. 

PANEER SKEWERS

Paneer is a great flavour carrier. In this recipe, its plainness is the perfect base for the blend of spices, which is mixed with yogurt and gram flour to keep the paneer moist Paneer is a great flavour carrier. In this recipe, its plainness is the perfect base for the blend of spices, which is mixed with yogurt and gram flour to keep the paneer moist

Paneer is a great flavour carrier. In this recipe, its plainness is the perfect base for the blend of spices, which is mixed with yogurt and gram flour to keep the paneer moist

Paneer is a great flavour carrier. In this recipe, its plainness is the perfect base for the blend of spices, which is mixed with yogurt and gram flour to keep the paneer moist. 

SERVES 4

1 red onion, cut into chunks1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and cut into chunks1 green pepper, cored, deseeded and cut into chunks225g paneer, cubedsunflower oil, for brushinglemon wedges, for squeezingnaan, to serve (optional)

FOR THE MARINADE

3 tbsp gram flour150ml natural yogurt½ tsp salt1 tsp amchur (mango powder, see note, right)1 tsp garam masala½ tsp ground turmeric1 tsp chilli powder

TO FINISH

2 tbsp ghee1 tsp chilli flakes¼ tsp chaat masala (see note)

First, soak 12 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes (this stops them from burning). Next, make the marinade. Toast the gram flour in a pan over a low heat for 2 minutes until it begins to change colour. Transfer the toasted flour to a bowl with the remaining marinade ingredients and mix well.

Light the barbecue. While the coals are heating, prepare the skewers. Put the onion, peppers and paneer into the marinade and gently coat them with the mix. Thread the onion, pepper and paneer pieces on to the skewers and brush them with the sunflower oil.

Place the paneer and vegetable skewers on the barbecue grill and cook for 6-8 minutes, turning them occasionally so that the vegetable chunks and paneer cubes are charred all over. When they are done, put them on a serving plate. (Alternatively, cook the unskewered marinated vegetables and paneer in a frying pan in some oil for 4-5 minutes until golden.)

To finish, melt the ghee in a small pan over a low heat, then remove it from the heat. Stir in the chilli flakes and chaat masala, then pour the mixture over the skewers and serve immediately with lemon wedges for squeezing and naan on the side, if liked.

NOTE Chaat masala is a sharp and tangy spice mix. It is, along with the amchur, available from Waitrose and spicemountain.co.uk

CHICKPEA SALAD

I like salads with bite, and this one has tons. The chaat masala adds heat as well as sourness, and the refreshing dressing binds all the elements together I like salads with bite, and this one has tons. The chaat masala adds heat as well as sourness, and the refreshing dressing binds all the elements together

I like salads with bite, and this one has tons. The chaat masala adds heat as well as sourness, and the refreshing dressing binds all the elements together

I like salads with bite, and this one has tons. The chaat masala adds heat as well as sourness, and the refreshing dressing binds all the elements together.

SERVES 4

2 tbsp rapeseed oil H 1 tsp cumin seeds1 green chilli, finely chopped H ½ tsp salt2 tsp chaat masala (see note, below right)2 x 400g cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed1 cucumber, roughly chopped1 red onion, roughly chopped1 little gem lettuce, roughly chopped

FOR THE DRESSING

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil2 tbsp lemon juice10-12 mint leaves, finely choppedpinch of saltpinch of freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, then add the cumin seeds and green chilli. Let them sizzle for a few seconds then reduce the heat to low. Mix in the salt and chaat masala, followed by the chickpeas. Cook over a high heat for 5 minutes until the chickpeas are slightly crispy. Transfer to a serving bowl and leave to cool to room temperature.

Once the chickpeas have cooled, add the cucumber, onion and lettuce to the bowl.

Put the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss well and serve immediately.

NOTE Chaat masala is a sharp and tangy spice mix. It is available from Waitrose and spicemountain.co.uk. 

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SALAD

You can also serve the spiced cauliflower alongside a main meal, or use it as a filling in wraps or sandwiches, as well as pastry You can also serve the spiced cauliflower alongside a main meal, or use it as a filling in wraps or sandwiches, as well as pastry

You can also serve the spiced cauliflower alongside a main meal, or use it as a filling in wraps or sandwiches, as well as pastry

A humble vegetable is transformed into something spectacular in this delicious salad. The spiced roasted cauliflower combines well with fresh coriander, peanuts and a simple dressing. Enjoy it warm or let the cauliflower cool down and have it at room temperature. You can also serve the spiced cauliflower alongside a main meal, or use it as a filling in wraps or sandwiches, as well as pastry.

SERVES 2

1 small cauliflower with leaves retained, cut into pieces1 red onion, cut into chunks¾ tsp salt1 tsp chilli powder1 tsp chaat masala (see note)4 tbsp rapeseed oil2 tbsp blanched peanuts1 bunch of spring onions, roughly choppedhandful of coriander, finely chopped

FOR THE DRESSING

2 tbsp olive oil½ tsp cider vinegar1 tsp honeypinch of saltpinch of freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the cauliflower and onion into a roasting tin, then sprinkle the salt, chilli powder and chaat masala on top. Drizzle over the oil. Mix it all up and ensure the veg is coated well in the oil and spices.

Roast the cauliflower and onion for 20 minutes, then remove the roasting tin from the oven and give the vegetables a good stir. Return the tin to the oven and roast for another 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are golden and cooked through.

Meanwhile, put the peanuts into a small frying pan and toast them over a low heat for 3-4 minutes until golden and crunchy. Now roughly crush the toasted peanuts using a pestle and mortar.

Put the roasted cauliflower and onion into a large bowl. Add the crushed peanuts, spring onions and coriander.

For the dressing, combine the olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk together. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss well and serve immediately.

NOTE Chaat masala is a sharp and tangy spice mix. It is available from Waitrose and spicemountain.co.uk.

MASALA SPATCHCOCK CHICKEN

You could use this marinade for a whole chicken or pieces, too – just adjust the cooking times accordingly (you'll need more time for a whole chicken, less for chicken pieces) You could use this marinade for a whole chicken or pieces, too – just adjust the cooking times accordingly (you'll need more time for a whole chicken, less for chicken pieces)

You could use this marinade for a whole chicken or pieces, too – just adjust the cooking times accordingly (you’ll need more time for a whole chicken, less for chicken pieces)

All the basic ground spices from your cupboard go into this dish. I use spatchcock chicken on the barbecue, as it cooks evenly and faster than a whole one. You could use this marinade for a whole chicken or pieces, too – just adjust the cooking times accordingly (you’ll need more time for a whole chicken, less for chicken pieces). I serve this with tamarind-marinated grilled potatoes. 

SERVES 4

1 spatchcock chicken, around 1kg-1.5kg

FOR THE MARINADE

2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated6 garlic cloves, grated2 tsp chilli powder1 tsp ground turmeric2 tsp salt2 tsp garam masala½ tsp freshly ground black pepper1 tsp ground cumin H 2 tsp ground coriander2 tbsp lemon juice1 tbsp rapeseed oil

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl. Put the chicken in a baking tin, then spread the marinade all over the chicken. Make sure you cover both the top and underside.

Cover with foil and leave to marinate for as long as you can in the refrigerator – at least an hour, preferably overnight.

Light the barbecue and, when it is ready, place the chicken on the barbecue grill. Cover and leave to cook for 25 minutes before turning it over. Grill for a further 25 minutes or until done (check by inserting a knife into the thigh – if the juices run clear, then the chicken is cooked).

Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a serving plate, cover with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Alternatively, cook the marinated spatchcock chicken in an oven preheated to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 50-60 minutes or until done. 

ROAST TOMATO RAITA

There are so many layers of flavours in this simple dish of charred tomatoes sitting on a bed of spiced thickened yogurt There are so many layers of flavours in this simple dish of charred tomatoes sitting on a bed of spiced thickened yogurt

There are so many layers of flavours in this simple dish of charred tomatoes sitting on a bed of spiced thickened yogurt

There are so many layers of flavours in this simple dish of charred tomatoes sitting on a bed of spiced thickened yogurt. The sum is truly greater than the parts.

SERVES 4

500ml natural yogurt8 tomatoes, halved1 tbsp sunflower oil, for brushing½ tsp salt½ tsp chilli powder

FOR THE TADKA GARNIS

2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)1 tsp mustard seeds10 fresh curry leaves

Pour the yogurt into a square of muslin, tie it to a wooden spoon, then rest the spoon across the rim of a deep pan so that the bundle of yogurt is suspended within the pan. Leave for 1 hour to allow excess liquid to drain from the yogurt into the pan.

Light the barbecue. Once the coals are ready, brush the tomatoes with the oil and place them on the barbecue grill. Cook for 5-10 minutes until roasted on the underside. Now turn the tomatoes over and cook for another 5 minutes until roasted all over. (Alternatively, cook them in a hot frying pan until golden.)

Remove the yogurt from the muslin, add half the salt and half the chilli powder and mix well. Spread the yogurt on a serving plate, then arrange the tomatoes on top. Sprinkle over the remaining salt and chilli powder and set aside.

To make the tadka garnish, heat the ghee in a small pan and add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the mixture begins to sizzle, pour it over the tomatoes and yogurt and serve. 

NOW BUY THE BOOK

Our recipes are from Chetna’s Indian Feasts by Chetna Makan, with photographs by Nassima Rothacker, which will be published by Hamlyn on 17 August, £26. To pre-order a copy for £22.10 until 27 August, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937. Free UK delivery on orders over £25. 

Our recipes are from Chetna's Indian Feasts by Chetna Makan, with photographs by Nassima Rothacker, which will be published by Hamlyn on 17 August, £26 Our recipes are from Chetna's Indian Feasts by Chetna Makan, with photographs by Nassima Rothacker, which will be published by Hamlyn on 17 August, £26

Our recipes are from Chetna’s Indian Feasts by Chetna Makan, with photographs by Nassima Rothacker, which will be published by Hamlyn on 17 August, £26

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